Archive for the 1990s Category

An April March- Memory Gardens & Scarlett Bliss K7s

Posted in 1990, 1990s, 1991, an april march, canadian, dreampop, shoegaze on April 4, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

I remember the first time hearing Canadian dreampop band An April March. I was deep in my shoegaze phase in my freshman year of college, overdosing on Slowdive for the most part, posting on forums everywhere. I caught wind of this band and remember seeking out a lone mp3 of “Lava,” one of the bands early singles, on Audiogalaxy of all places… It was love at first listen. Just a few weeks later, I was digging in my college town’s record bins casually when I came across a gorgeous looking gothic cover. Sure enough, it was the Lava single, a red colored slab of perfection sitting there for a dollar, discarded among a bunch of sleeveless pop singles. I believe I posted the single in the very first year of this blog, as the obsession still ran deep.

Since then I’ve obtained all of their discography in various forms, with the exception of the elusive Scarlett Bliss demo tape from 1991, which I’ve always had my eye on. However, a kind collector by the name of Paul Evans offered to rip it for me, and included a bonus- a never before logged demo tape from 1990 called Memory Gardens, the band’s first official release. Funny enough, this is the real treat here, as the Scarlett Bliss tape features very similar (if not the same) recordings of these three tracks that would appear on 1993’s Impatiens, the band’s debut album.

However, the songs on Memory Gardens showcase a band just getting their feet wet, though the band’s trademark dark dreampop sound is still in full effect. Mostly I’m pleasantly surprised by the ample use of saxophone on this tape, a sound they abandoned after release, apparently. Saxophone player Ian would go on to play with The Dervishes, who I haven’t heard but sound like a more soul/funk band according to their discogs page.

Anywho, four of the six tracks on this cassette are exclusives, while “Gates Within Us” and “Of Leaves And Sweetness” are early versions that have since changed drastically in subsequent recordings.

Thanks again to Paul for ripping these! Hope you all enjoy them as much as I do:

An April March- Memory Gardens K7 (1990)
1. Justine
2. Misunderstanding
3. Of Leaves and Sweetness
4. Memory Gardens
5. Gates Within Us
6. Hollow House

An April March- Scarlett Bliss K7 (1991)
1. Scarlett Bliss
2. This Silence
3. Stains

*download both here*

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP

Posted in 1990s, 1991, ebm, minimal, minimal synth, Schmaalhans Weltraumm, swedish, synth, synthpop on January 23, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

Straight out of the mailbox, onto the turntable, and to your ears all within the span of a weekend, here’s a rip of the wonderful Faces & Images compilation, which features a slew of lo-fi EBM, synthpop, and minimal treats.

This comp. hails from Sweden and was released in 1991 on Limur, who also released the Schmaalhans Weltraum 7”. Their signature track appears here, as well as an amazing lo-fi synthpop cut from Sidewalk Cindy. Other highlights include the Bites-esque band + Christ (their only known track), Kiethevez’s “Female Trouble” (which is heavily indebted to Depeche Mode’s pre-Music For the Masses era), Art Domination’s “Remember,” which channels D.A.F.’s electro period, and the killer Pet Cemetery tune “Set Right All Right,” which also owes a lot to early Skinny Puppy. There are also a few experimental cuts by Grönlandsbruttan and Verschwende Deine Jugend, which remind me of Factrix and a more out there Nitzer Ebb, respectfully.

Despite all the traceable influences and genres, there’s not really a dud on this comp., so please press play and enjoy!

Various Artists- Faces and Images LP
1. The Outcast- White Coat Compassion
2. Boiling Brain- Real World
3. + Christ- Filtering Vision
4. Grönlandsbruttan- Häxans Otäcka Dröm
5. Kiethevez- Female Terror
6. Schmaalhans Weltraum- Montagne De Boeuf
7. Pet Cemetery- Set Right All Right
8. Sidewalk Cindy- A Hundred Things To Say
9. Verschwende Deine Jugend- Source Of Conflict
10. Art Domination- Remember

*download it here*

The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”

Posted in 12'', 1990, 1990s, ebm, synth, synthpop, the severance on June 24, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Sometimes I forget just how much I love synthpop. We’re talking giant beats, huge hooks, almost shameless use of electronics and a tremendous command of melody. Mostly I just love stuff that sounds like classic-era Depeche Mode. Meanwhile, I picked this one up in a cheap-o bin in the bowels of NYC, and with just one glance to both the front & back covers, I knew exactly what to expect and knew it would hit that sweet spot…

This particular German 12” kicks off with a killer four-on-the-floor track. This track could have fit nicely in a set with “Strangelove,” Cetu Javu, Few Boys, Secession, Celebrate the Nun, and so on and so forth. While hearing three tracks of solid synthpop without any variation would have suited the works just fine, there’s a bit more to this record than meets the eye. While “Dreams Of Youth” will satisfy even the most thirsty of palates, the second track is the clear winner in my book, a more aggressive track with a little EBM flavor. Fans of The Arch, Aimless Device, and A Split Second should adore this one. The third track falls back to the synthpop sound, but is just as catchy as the A-side, with a slower tempo and a chirpy arpeggiator running throughout.

This is the first of three releases from The Severance, released in 1990 (arguably the peak of this sound), and I haven’t heard their 1994 LP to see how the band evolved over the years. Two members would reconvene as Winterkälte in the mid 90s, with a harsher, more industrial/ebm sound.

That all said, hope you enjoy!

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The Severance- Dreams Of Youth 12”
1. Dreams of Youth
2. Electrocult
3. Crying Child

*download it here*

In other news, I just returned from San Francisco, which after a few days of record digging with Goutroy, I found some more gems to share, as well as a few to re-rip in higher quality. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for some West Coast goodies and some other surprises!

Mélopée- Mélopée & Lyelle K7s

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 1990s, coldwave, france, french, goth, goth-rock, k7, mélopée, post-punk on March 9, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Two fantastic, rare, and undersung cassettes up on the slab today from Mélopée (translation- threnody), a coldwave band from France. Very little to be found on the net about this band, as both tapes were self-released in very limited numbers. One of the tapes (Lyellle) dates back to 1990, while the self-titled cassette doesn’t have a year attached to it, but is likely around the same time period, give or take a year in either direction. Outside of a handful of compilation appearances, the band also released a CD in 1995, but I haven’t heard it aside from the track that appears on the excellent Beaucoup, compilation alongside Lucie Cries, Ellysgarden, Résistance, Babel 17, and more, to say the least…

Fans of all the aforementioned bands (as well as the slew of Mémoires D’automne tapes from a few years back) will find lots and lots to love here!

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Mélopée- Mélopée
1. Le Vide D’Un Cœur Solitaire
2. A L’Aube De La Vie
3. Les Tempes Blanchies
4. Mémorial
5. Ignaledre

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Mélopée- Lyellle
1. Petite Vieilles Fanées
2. L’Arbre
3. Lyellle
4. Vision
5. Niomée
6. Procession
7. Inwradness

*download both tapes here*

THX- Luv ‘N’ Trust 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 1990s, ebm, german, new beat, thx, voyou on December 1, 2014 by Frankie Teardrop

A few weeks ago, I posted an excellent New Beat 7” from Iconoclass, an obscure, but solid genre classic. You guys wanted some more of that sound, so I’m happy to deliver! Thanks to Andi, fellow DJ and co-author of the excellent Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace book for originally turning me on to this one, which has been an obsession ever since.

THX were a German New Beat/EBM duo consisting of Andy Düx and Peter Schmidt. Düx gets credit here as a member of Jack U Rebels, a techno collective, but I know him best as a member of Voyou, who released one of the best tracks in the genre just a few years prior. This particular 12” was released in 1990 and features three mixes of tracks otherwise available on the band’s full length LP. While the full length is available on CD (and is generally easier to find), the mixes here are exclusive to this 12”. The real winner is the title track, a 7-minute romp chock full of thundering EBM beats, haunting synth melodies, and gritty, almost whispered male vocals with just the right mix of sensuality and distortion (see also: Tricky, though the comparison only extends to the vocal effects). It definitely never fails to get the blood going, and I hope you guys dig it as much as I do!

thx

THX- Luv ‘N’ Trust 12”
1. Luv ‘N’ Trust (Trustworthy Mix)
2. Luv ‘N’ Trust (Devon Mix)
3. Sedation (Call 3-4-8…) (Euthanasia Mix)

*download it here*

Bloody Ice- Bloody Ice 12”

Posted in 1990s, 1993, bloody ice, ebm, electro, electronic, industrial, placebo records on November 18, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Second post in one day, this one as a request from Goutroy over at A Viable Commercial, who featured one track off this scarce 12” on his latest various artists compilation.  The song “Dying in Arms” was my favorite from the compilation, and I’ve since tracked down the full 12”, which employs the same bleak industrial/ebm sounds throughout.  If you like Front Line Assembly and the Klinik, this one is definitely for you…

Bloody Ice was the moniker for German musician Eini, who co-founded Placebo Records in 1993 to release his own recordings.  The label is also responsible for the amazing New Dimension 12” (which has since disappeared from the blogosphere).  This appears to be the only Bloody Ice release, though “Dying in Arms” also appears on the Nyctalopia Compilation from the same year and an “Intro” track appears on To Be Stun, a CD compilation.  Eini was also involved with Kabelbrandt, who were even less prolific.  You can find a track of theirs on Strange Sounds Vol. 2.

According to a website run by Eini, The Bloody Ice tracks were recorded in a span of two years before being released in 1993.  At this point in time, vinyl was on the decline, and with only 300 copies pressed, this one is hard to come by.  The LP was released on Blood Red vinyl (naturally), and both sides of this 12” have different playback aspects, depending on where you drop the needle.  Side A only has the first two songs back to back, and you can only listen to the “Senses in Crossfire” and “French Girl” by placing the needle elsewhere.   Meanwhile, Side B is a double groove, so there’s a 50/50 chance of hearing either “Dying In Arms” or “Firehouse.”

The question here is, “do you feel lucky…?”

bloody ice

Bloody Ice- Bloody Ice 12”
1. Bloody Ice
2. Rullas Gyros
3. Senses In Crossfire
4. French Girl
5. Dying In Arms
6. Firehouse

*download it here*

The Unknown- Fall LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 1990s, baltimore, post-punk on August 2, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another joint post with A Viable Commercial- this time bringing you the full discography of Baltimore post-punk/indie band The Unknown.  Their first album is an excellent hybrid of Unforgettable Fire-era U2, early For Against, and Grapes of Wrath, with some slight Bolshoi vibes here and there.  They also remind me quite a bit of 86, an Atlanta band with similar influences.  Goutroy turned me on to the first record, especially the final song “Songinsee” and I was hooked instantly.  Seriously one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while, tested successfully at a night I just recently DJed at. Nothing like trying a new, obscure obsession out for the first time and receiving a positive response- the crowd kept dancing for all six minutes of the song.

The band was tough to trace at first, as their name is not only difficult to Google in general, but virtually impossible to narrow down on discogs due to the 30+ other projects with that name. After some finesse, I was able to find both albums for a fair price, and ripped them both.  You can get their debut, self-titled record (even harder to Google) from 1987 HERE via A Viable Commercial, and I’ll be posting the second record, released three years later.  While 1990 was an otherwise dark and barren period for this sort of sound (and perhaps that’s exactly why these two LPs couldn’t find a bigger audience), their sophomore record holds up as a worthy successor to the first.   The general vibe is the same, though the band plays slightly heavier on this record, perhaps a reflection on the indie/alternative scene that was just starting to break at the time.  There’s nothing on this album that’s as perfect as “Songinsee” but it’s still a great listen from front to back.

This album was released on Merkin Records, a rather…curious name for a record label, especially with bands such as Meatjack, Monkeyspank, and Buttsteak filling up the roster…  Can’t comment on any of those bands, but if they aren’t in the Jesus Lizard/Meat Puppets sort of vein, I’d be surprised.

Anyway, The Unknown split after this second record, but reunited in 2012, playing some shows in hometown Baltimore, most infamously at The Ottobar, which I’ve actually played at as well.  Not sure what the future holds for The Unknown, but hopefully these posts help the band find a new audience!

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The Unknown- Fall
1. Empty House Of Night
2. Reasons
3. Route 99
4. Handwriting
5. Green Room
6. As They Sleep (Rachael)
7. Fall

*download it here*

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, bethany curve, california, dreampop, shoegaze, US on April 6, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While I haven’t posted much shoegaze here, I’ve been a fan of the genre as long as I can remember… Aside from the classics, I’ve also grown to love more modern bands such as Ashrae Fax, Stella Luna, Tamaryn, The Autumns, the Claire Records bands, and of course, Bethany Curve.  With that in mind, I’ve been looking for a copy of this cassette for ages, pretty much a holy grail for me for many years, so it’s proof that good things come to those who wait.  This came to me as an anonymous donation at first but many thanks to the original collector who spent a lot of effort and time to track this down. 

Bethany Curve formed in Santa Cruz, CA in 1994, taking their name from a local street sign.  The band released four albums and one EP, going on hiatus in 2004 after the release of Flaxen.  Though they haven’t released anything since, the band played some shows in 2010, and their site hints at a new record, Murder, whose release date is still TBA.  There’s also talk of this tape being reissued with remastered sound, so this download will be obviously be removed once it’s available for sale.

As for the band’s sound, Bethany Curve often explored darker territories than most of their peers, citing Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode as influences alongside Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and the like .  The influence is most apparent on this tape, released in 1995 as a demo.  There are a few experimental synth moments here as well, serving as interludes between the remaining tracks.  Either way, if you’ve been looking for this tape as long as I have, you’ve already skipped this text and have gone straight to the download, so let’s cut straight to the chase:

Bethany+Curve+MeeAux

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7
1. Sequence
2. Satellite
3. Mar
4. Walk In
5. 2 Minutes of Hate
6. Jalap
7. Sunned
8. Reversion
9. Out of the Clear
10. Me Voy

*download it here*

Sombre Septembre- Une Lune Une Hiver 7”

Posted in 1980, 1990, 1990s, coldwave, france, french, sombre septembre on March 20, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another quick post for another French coldwave classic, re-ripped from the archives for those who have already heard this one.  This post is a sister post of sorts to Sorrow Vomit’s latest offering.  While that self-released CD-R contains most of the band’s discography, it curiously neglects the A-side to this 7” and includes a low quality rip of the b-side.  Maybe the band were disappointed with this single or couldn’t locate the tapes.  Just a theory.   The songs are quite long for a 7”, which explains some of the murkiness that you may hear here occasionally.

Anyway, this 7” saw the band experimenting with heavier, synthpop-inspired drums, though obviously the songs are still very synth/guitar/bass driven, melancholy tones, etc.  If I recall correctly, these two tracks featured a different lineup than “Le Nez Rouge” so that may explain both the new sounds and the aforementioned omissions.

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Sombre Septembre- Une Lune Une Hiver 7”
1. Une Lune Une Hiver
2. Passée La Nuit

*download it here*

Coming soon- more collaborations from an Italian collector as well as some never-before-heard rarities I’ve been meaning to post for a while now.  Hang tight!

Ellysgarden- Demo K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, coldwave, ellysgarden, france, french, post-punk on October 9, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s another generous donation, this time from Jonathan. Here we have a demo tape from Ellysgarden, recorded in 19881995*.  If you haven’t heard their full length record, 1994’s Echoes, you can grab that here.

For those unfamiliar, the band shares members with Rosa Luxemburg, a band that appears on several classic French compilations.  The band employs a more jangle/dreampop sound than most of their contemporaries, recalling bands like Kitchens of Distinction, House of Love, and Catherine Wheel.   However, this tape leans more towards their post-punk roots and is an absolute must for fans of fans of Sad Lovers and Giants, Lowlife, and Comsat Angels circa My Mind’s Eye (an underrated latter-day classic).

The tape features eight unheard songs that were never recorded again.  No artwork for this one! Including a promo photo instead.

*EDIT: Thanks to Philippe Faraut for filling in the missing gaps!  I can now report that this cassette was meant to be Ellysgarden’s SECOND album, recorded in 1995 and not 1988 as originally posted.   The original master tapes for the pressing were lost in the mail, so all that remains of the album is this demo tape…

Ellysgarden- Demo K7
1. Pretty Accidents
2. Twice
3. Bleed or Shine
4. Reach Out
5. Heroes/High
6. Wrecked Skies
7. Ghardaia
8. Your Shammed Tears

*download it here*